Can a Non-U.S. Citizen Get a Home Loan?

Can a Non-U.S. Citizen Get a Home Loan?

Buying a home in the U.S. may be one of the biggest milestones of your life. But is it possible for a non-U.S. citizen? Can a non-citizen get a home loan or apply for a mortgage?

The good news is that non-U.S. citizens can buy a house in the USA and get approved for a loan in the United States. Read on to know more.

Can Foreign Nationals Get a Mortgage in the U.S.?

It is certainly possible to get a loan when buying a home even if you are not a U.S. citizen. According to a report published in 2020 by the National Association of Realtors, 62% of all resident foreign buyers purchased their homes using U.S.-based mortgages. The process may vary depending on your current residence status in the U.S. and loan eligibility factors. However, non-U.S. citizenship should not be a problem when it comes to securing a mortgage in the United States.

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How to Qualify for a Mortgage as a Non-U.S. Citizen?

When determining your eligibility for a home loan, lenders take into account your residency status in the U.S. While different lenders have different policies with regard to eligibility requirements, you will need to prove your residency status to secure financing. If you are a lawful permanent resident of the United States, it can be easier to qualify for a mortgage because the options are similar to a U.S. citizen.

Additionally, lawful U.S. residents with eligible employment authorization or visas can easily get a loan to buy a home in the United States. If you are a permanent resident, a Green Card holder, or living in the U.S. with a permanent work visa, you pose less risk for a lender. This is because you have residency approval for an indefinite period and are also not bound by a work visa.

On the other hand, non-permanent residents who do not have green cards may find it challenging to secure a home loan. This is because you are living in the U.S. on a temporary visa and do not have approval for indefinite residency in the country. So, to qualify for financing, it is crucial to have lawful permanent residence in the U.S. However, temporary residence holders can also apply for a loan if they can prove the likelihood of continued employment in the country.

usa house loan

Which Types of Non-Permanent Visa Holders are Eligible for Home Loans?

Only the following types of non-permanent resident visa holders are eligible to secure a home loan:

  • E: E1, E2, and E3
  • H: H-1B, H-1B1, H-2A, H-2B, H-3, H-4
  • G: G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, G-5
  • NATO: NATO 1-6
  • L: L-1A, L-1B, L-2
  • Mexican and Canadian NAFTA
  • O: O-1A, O-1B, O-2, O-3

Requirements to Get a Mortgage as a Non-U.S. Resident

The requirements may vary depending on your visa type, residency status, and various other factors. Typically, standard eligibility criteria include the following:

  • You must hold a valid passport and SSN (social security number)
  • Valid visa and/or employment authorization
  • A good credit history and stable monthly income make it easier to secure a loan
  • Proof of financial assets that represent your ability to repay the mortgage
  • You must have sufficient funds to cover a minimum of 3.5% down payment on FHA loans and a 20% down payment on conventional loans

home loan in the usa

Loan Options for Non-U.S. Residents

There are different types of loan options available for U.S. immigrants. Here is a quick overview of each:

  • Conventional loans: Conventional loans typically have stricter regulations when it comes to minimum credit score requirements, down payments, debt-to-income ratios, and loan limits.
  • FHA loans: It is insured by the Federal Housing Administration. An immigrant must have a lawful permanent U.S. residency or non-permanent residence status. Immigrant DACA recipients may also apply for an FHA loan.
  • USDA loans: These government-backed mortgages help foster the concept of buying homes in rural areas. The home loan does not require a down payment; however, there are strict regulations regarding location and income requirements.
  • Non-QM loans: These loans are for borrowers who could not qualify for conventional loans because of poor credit. Non-QM loans typically come with higher rates of interest and down payment minimums.


Getting a home loan as a non-U.S. resident is possible, provided you hold a residency status (permanent or temporary) and meet the loan requirements. 

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